Legal Studies R1B Race and the Law 203 Wheeler M/W/F 12:00-1:00

Legal Studies R1B
Race and the Law
203 Wheeler
M/W/F 12:00-1:00
Instructor: Emily Bruce
Email: [email protected]
Office: 340A Boalt Hall (North Addition); 642-1927
Office Hours: M/W 2:30-3:30 or by appointment
Course website is accessible via bCourses
In this course we will investigate how law has both reflected and helped define racial identity
and citizenship in the United States.
Alexander, Michelle. 2010. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of
Colorblindness. New York, NY: New Press.
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams. 2008. The Craft of
Research (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Haney López, Ian. 2003. Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice. Cambridge,
MA: Belknap/Harvard University Press.
All other readings will be posted on bCourses or handed out in class.
Course Description and Requirements
Legal Studies R1B is a four-unit course that satisfies the second half of Berkeley’s Reading and
Composition requirement. I strongly advise that you take this course only if you have already
fulfilled the first half of the Reading and Composition Requirement.
Course Goals:
The purpose of this class is to provide students with the skills to be critical readers and
thoughtful writers who can express themselves clearly and persuasively. By the end of this
course, students should be able to: identify an author’s point of view and main arguments;
evaluate an author’s credibility and the merits of his or her argument; identify areas for further
inquiry (i.e., questions the text raises but does not answer); write a unified essay with
introduction, main claim, transitions between paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph; and
research, analyze, and develop an argument about an issue related to the course. In addition,
students should be familiar with fundamental concepts of equal protection law and should be
able to draw conclusions about their role in the formation of group and individual racial identity.
Due to the collaborative nature and intense pace of this class, your consistent attendance and
participation are essential.
You are allowed 4 absences over the course of the semester, no questions asked. Any absence
after the 4th will reduce your final grade by 1/3 (B+  B). This applies to any absence for any
reason (illness, family emergency, too tired to come to class, etc). Everyone has unexpected
things come up, so save your absences for when you really need them.
Active Participation
This class builds off everyone’s participation in discussions. Bodily presence alone does not
constitute active participation. Sleeping in class, arriving late or leaving early and not having
done the day’s readings will lower your participation grade. More importantly, it makes it hard
to build a productive classroom community.
If you have concerns about speaking in class, please discuss them with me as soon as possible to
avoid any effect on your grade.
Reading Assignments
This is a college-level reading class. You should plan on at least 2 hours of outside reading for
each class meeting.
Since this is a small class based primarily on discussion and group activities, it is important that
you complete the reading assigned for each class session and bring the assigned text to class
with you.
Discussion Points
In preparation for class discussion, you should submit one good reading-based discussion point
before each class session, unless otherwise stated on the syllabus.
Your discussion point must respond in some way to a classmate’s post. This requirement is
waived if you are the first person to post for that class.
Discussion Points can be:
(1) questions about things you didn't understand in the readings,
(2) thoughts about aspects of the readings you would like to explore further, or
(3) comments about things you found particularly interesting.
Please see the Discussion Points handout for additional information.
The university requires that all Reading and Composition courses be taken for a letter grade; a Cis required to fulfill the requirement. Your grade will be calculated as follows:
Participation: 10%
(includes timeliness, active class participation, discussion points, oral presentations, individual
Short Assignments: 10%
(includes essay proposals and drafts, peer reviews, various homework assignments)
Essays: 80%
Essay 1: (4-5 pages plus reflection) 10%
Essay 2: (6-8 pages plus reflection) 25%
Essay 3: Research paper (10-12 pages plus reflection) 45%
Late Assignments
FREE LATE: You may turn in one assignment up to one week late, no questions asked.
EXCEPTIONS: (1) The peer review drafts ALL must be turned in on time so that your peer
review partner may complete the review. (2) If you choose to use your free late on the final
essay, you must turn it in by Wednesday, December 17 at 4:00pm.
Late assignments after the first will affect your grade. Short assignments and essay drafts that
are turned in late will receive half credit. Late essays will lose 5 points (out of 100 possible) per
Late assignments (beyond the one freebie) can only be excused by a doctor’s note stating the
dates during which you were unable to work on the assignment. Doctor’s notes may be accepted
at the professor’s discretion.
Peer Review
Each of the three formal essays you write for this class will be substantially revised based on
peer review. You will turn in one draft at the peer review stage and one revised essay.
DRAFTS – Drafts are completed essays -- including introduction, main claim, argument, and
conclusion -- that meet the length requirement but may be less polished than a revised essay.
Each time a draft is due, we will hold a peer-review session in class and there will be peer review
work outside of class.
REVISED ESSAYS – Revised essays are not just drafts that have been proofread. They should
demonstrate your ability to re-think the essay and show a considerable amount of re-writing and
Technology in the Classroom
Some course readings will be available electronically, and you may want to refer to them on your
laptop during class. When doing so, please be sure to close web browsers and disable any
applications that might distract you from the class discussion.
Cell phones should be turned to silent or off before class. Texting or chatting with friends online
while in class is absolutely unacceptable.
I will count you absent for the day if I observe you using your phone/computer for these
I typically do not check email after class on Friday, or on Saturday or Sunday. If you send me an
email after 11:00am on Friday, do not expect a response until Monday. At all other times during
the semester, I will respond to your emails as soon as I am able, usually within 24-48 hours.
If you missed class or an assignment, please ask a classmate for information before you email
me with questions.
Academic Honesty
Avoid plagiarism! Plagiarism is the “use of intellectual material produced by another person
without acknowledging its source.”
Plagiarism includes copying, quoting or paraphrasing the work or ideas of another person
without acknowledgement. We will spend class time talking about working with sources and
using citations in ways that avoid plagiarism.
For additional information on plagiarism and how to avoid it, see, for example:
The student community at UC Berkeley has adopted the following Honor Code: “As a
member of the UC Berkeley community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others.”
The hope and expectation is that you will adhere to this code.
Disability Accommodations
All reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate students with disabilities in accordance with
university policy. Information about specific resources provided by the UC Berkeley Disabled
Students’ Program may be found online at or by calling
(510) 642-0518 or (510) 642-6376 (teletype). Please notify me as soon as possible and no later
than the second week of class if you require accommodations of any kind.
Food & Drink
Eating in class distracts you, me and everyone else. Please plan ahead and eat before, after or on
your way to class. Feel free to bring something to drink, especially if caffeine or sugar would
help you stay alert in class.
Course Schedule
Please note that I may make changes to the course schedule from time to time. Please pay
attention to announcements made in class or posted on bCourses.
Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice = RoT
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess = NJC
The Craft of Research = Craft
Week 1
Class 1: Friday, August 29
Introduction to the course
Week 2
Monday, September 1 -- NO CLASS – HOLIDAY
Class 2: Wednesday, September 3
Due: 1 Discussion Point (on bCourses)
Ngai, “The Architecture of Race in American Immigration Law: A Reexamination of the
Immigration Act of 1924” (bCourses)
Class 3: Friday, September 5
Due: 1 Discussion Point (on bCourses)
Sacks, “How Did Jews Become White Folks?” (bCourses)
Week 3
Class 4: Monday, September 8
Introduce Essay #1
Due: Preliminary essay (in bCourses Drop Box) & 1 Discussion Point (on bCourses)
RoT: Prologue, TOC & Intro
Class 5: Wednesday, September 10
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Chs. 1- 3
Class 6: Friday, September 12
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Ch. 4
Week 4
Class 7: Monday, September 15
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Ch. 5
Class 8: Wednesday, September 17
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Ch. 6
Class 9: Friday, September 19
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Chs. 7-8
Week 5
Class 10: Monday, September 22
Due: 1 Discussion Point
RoT: Ch. 9 & Epilogue
Class 11: Wednesday, September 24
Due: 2nd revision of paragraph from class 2
Writing Workshop: Argument
Craft (Part I, pp. 3-27; Part III, Prologue-Ch. 10, pp. 105-151)
Class 12: Friday, September 26
Due: Point-based outline (on bCourses & by arrangement with partner)
Straub, “Responding—Really Responding—to Other Students’ Writing (bCourses)
Week 6 -- Essay 1 Conferences begin on Wednesday
Class 13: Monday, September 29
Peer Response groups, part 1
Due: Draft Essay #1 (on bCourses; bring copies for yourself and two partners to class)
Class 14: Wednesday, October 1
Due: written comments on partners’ drafts (on bCourses and by arrangement with
Sommers, “Revision Strategies of Student Writers and Experienced Adult Writers” (bCourses)
Class 15: Friday, October 3
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, TOC & Introduction
Lawrence, “The Id, The Ego, and Equal Protection” (bCourses)
Week 7
Class 16: Monday, October 6
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, Chs. 1-2
Class 17: Wednesday, October 8
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, Ch. 3
Class 18: Friday, October 10
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, Ch. 4
Week 8
Class 19: Monday, October 13 – NO CLASS – TURN IN REVISED ESSAYS
Due: Revised Essay #1 + Drafts + Reflection (hard copies due by 3:00 at the Legal Studies
Department, 2240 Piedmont Ave)
Class 20: Wednesday, October 15
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, Ch. 5
Class 21: Friday, October 17
Due: 1 Discussion Point
NJC, Ch. 6
Week 9
Class 22: Monday, October 20
Due: Research Assignment (on bCourses & bring to class – digital or hard copy)
One relevant scholarly article you identified through your research
Class 23: Wednesday, October 22
Due: 1 Discussion Point
Byng, “You Can’t Get There from Here: A Social Process Theory of Racism and Race”
Class 24: Friday, October 24
Research workshop: Working with Sources; Revision Revisited
Due: Point-based outline (on bCourses & by arrangement with partner)
Craft (Part IV, Prologue through Ch. 14, pp. 173-212)
Week 10 - Essay 2 conferences begin on Wednesday
Class 25: Monday, October 27
Essay 1 returned
Craft, (Ch. 16., pp. 232-248)
Class 26: Wednesday, October 29
Due: Draft Essay #2 (on bCourses; bring copies for yourself and your partner to class)
Writing Workshop: Peer Review, part 1
Class 27: Friday, October 31
Due: written comments on partners’ drafts (on bCourses & by arrangement with partner)
Craft, (Part II, Prologue-Ch. 4, pp. 31-67)
Week 11
Class 28: Monday, November 3
Due: 1 Discussion Point & Second Research Assignment
Plessy v. Ferguson (bCourses)
Korematsu v. United States (bCourses)
Class 29: Wednesday, November 5
Due: 1 Discussion Point
Oh & Ross, “Judicial Opinions as Racial Narratives: The Story of Richmond v. Croson”
Class 30: Friday, November 7
Due: 1 Discussion Point & Second Research Assignment (in bSpace Drop Box)
Takagi, “Post-Civil Rights Politics and Asian-American Identity: Admissions and Higher
Education” (bCourses)
Week 12– Research Proposal Conferences begin on Monday
Class 31: Monday, November 10
Due: Research Proposal (in bSpace Drop Box) AND 1 Discussion Point
Saucedo, “The Employer Preference for the Subservient Worker and the Making of the BrownCollar Workplace” (bCourses)
Class 32: Wednesday, November 12
Due: 1 Discussion Point
Wildman, “Language and Silence: Making Systems of Privilege Visible” (bCourses)
Class 33: Friday, November 14 – NO CLASS – TURN IN REVISED ESSAYS
Due: Revised Essay #2 + Drafts + Reflection (by 3:00pm at the Legal Studies office, 2240
Piedmont Ave)
Week 13
Class 34: Monday November 17
Craft (Ch. 17, pp. 249-269)
Class 34: Wednesday, November 19
Due: Working Critical Annotated Bibliography (on bCourses)
Speedy (5 minute) research project oral presentations
Class 35: Friday, November 21
Continue Speedy Research Project Presentations
Week 14
Class 36: Monday, November 24
Essay #2 returned
Continue Speedy Research Project Presentations
Class 37: Wednesday, November 26
Due: Point-Based Outline (on bCourses and by arrangement with partner)
Out-of-class Interview or Research Assignment
Friday, November 27 -- NO CLASS – HOLIDAY
Week 15
Class 38: Monday, November 30
Due: Interview/Research Assignment (in class)
Debrief Interview Assignment
Class 39: Wednesday, December 2
Response groups, part 1
Due: complete research draft (in bSpace Drop Box; bring copies for yourself and your
partner to class)
Class 40: Friday, December 4
Response groups part 2
Due: written comments on partners’ research drafts (in bSpace Drop Box & by
arrangement with partner)
Final paper with research portfolio must be turned in to the Legal Studies Department
(2240 Piedmont Ave) on or before Monday, December 15 at 3:00pm.